• Speaking My Mind

    2019

    Hello, everyone and welcome back to my blog!

    I unintentionally took a longer-than-expected break from posting on my blog. In fact, I hadn’t planned to take a break at all, but due to the excessive pressure I was putting on myself to write as well as all of the craziness that is inherent to the holiday season, I went on a break. I’m glad I am returning now that I naturally feel inspired to write.

    During my time away from my blog, I took the GRE, celebrated a stressful version of Christmas, became absorbed by a romance novel series, and relaxed with my friends and my girlfriend. I’m quite relieved that the holiday season is wrapping up and I’m eager to embark on a new year!

    Anyway, I wanted to write a bit about my goals for 2019. Before I share them though, you can check out my post about my goals from 2018! Below are additional goals I had for 2018 that were written in a private journal.

    1. Save money
    2. Invest in myself: blog
    3. Challenge myself: perform
    4. Be creative: crochet and write
    5. Get published!
    6. Apply for PhD
    7. YTT + teach! (500hrs in 5 years?)

    I’m proud to have accomplished many of my goals for 2018 such as graduating from college, writing a killer thesis, investing in myself, challenging myself, and exploring my creativity more.

    There are a few aspirations from 2018 that I’m still working on though, such as getting a job and applying to grad school. Additionally, some of the items on that list are long-term goals, such as getting published and completing 500 hours of yoga teacher training.

    This year, for 2019, I have decided to approach my list differently: I have created resolutions that are short-term oriented, so I can actually accomplish them all in one year. These aspirations break down my longer-term goals into smaller, feasible tasks that ultimately serve as the foundation for the long-term goals I had created in 2017.

    Top 10 Goals for 2019

    1. Allot weekly yoga studying time
    2. Establish a consistent meditation practice, at least weekly
    3. Plan and execute a chakra yoga class series for the spring
    4. Research and book a yoga workshop/training for late 2019/2020
    5. Confidently making decisions! (Such as for grad school)
    6. Integrate cardio at least weekly into my routine
    7. Work daily on a long-term writing project
    8. Continue to maintain this blog and begin planning how to expand it
    9. Complete the rest of the half-read books that I have.
    10. Create a ritual for my ancestors

    I’ll definitely be keeping you all updated on my 2019 endeavors. I’m feeling quite optimistic about them.

    What are your aspirations for 2019? Please share them below!

    Xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Time to Try

    For the first time in four years, I had an anxiety attack.

    It completely caught me off-guard, despite the fact that I had been nervously calling my girlfriend, my sister, and my mom on the phone for an hour before it had happened. Also despite the fact that I’ve been practicing some negative daily habits for weeks as a result of a Vata-imbalance.

    For me, that entails following my whims: I fall asleep whenever I want to (AKA never a reasonable hour), I sleep in late, I create ideas but I don’t bring them into reality, I stress-eat, I distract myself with interminable episodes New Girl (which is a great show), and I lack a routine for diet or otherwise.

    Anyway, right before the anxiety attack, I was driving during one of the phone calls with my girlfriend, and my answers to her questions quickly became hysterical to the point where I couldn’t breathe and I had to pull over. It was horrible.

    The last time this happened to me, I was preparing for midterms as a first semester, first-year student at a large University. I was also recuperating from an awful breakup, I was homesick, and I was just…learning how to flourish when everything was incredibly new and overwhelming.

    I was afraid of failing my classes, nervous that I wouldn’t be able to make friends, and worried that I wouldn’t be able to succeed in college.

    While my circumstances are completely different now– I’m a graduate of that University, I overcame homesickness, and I have an amazing relationship that is so much better than I could have imagined– I am now learning how to flourish as an adult. It’s incredibly new to me and it’s overwhelming.

    I published a post recently about my fears, but they’re rather surface-level. My more deep-seated fears include being afraid of making a “wrong” decision, nervous to embark on something “too risky,” and worried that I can’t succeed in the real world.

    All of these fears have ultimately culminated in the stunting of my growth. My fears have become my reality because I haven’t been challenging them…instead, I’ve been holding myself back to prevent myself from my perception of disaster. Then I’ve been blaming everyone else for holding me back.

    After my anxiety attack, my sister pointed out that I have a difficult time making a decision because I have all these “ideas” but I hardly execute them. She also informed me that I doubt and second-guess myself consistently. How can I expect to move forward if my energy is so self-destructive?

    Prior to the post about my fears, I wrote about manifesting and persistence. While they are extremely vital methods toward success, they are insufficient if the way I treat myself is negative. So, more importantly, how can I channel positive, confident, loving energy toward myself to raise my vibration and ultimately attract other high-vibe opportunities that would enable me to achieve my goals?

    Well, this anxiety attack was a wake-up call that I’m not okay with holding myself back any longer. Now is the time to break this cycle and challenge my fears. Now is the time to take risks that may not always be successful, but that’s part of learning! Now is the time to try.

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    If I Wasn’t Afraid, I Would…

    • Move out of state
    • Take a trip
    • Choose a grad school program
    • Apply to a grad school  program
    • Light a match
    • Drive on the highway
    • Chant more
    • Be confident
    • Be positive
    • Introduce more “yogic” things to my yoga class
    • Write a book
    • Develop my own business
    • Make malas
    • Reconnect with mentors
    • Pursue my passions, even if I’m uncertain where they will lead

    What does your list look like?

    xx Vic

  • Nevertheless, She Persisted 2019 Agenda
    Mysticism

    This Is Your Good Omen

    Since my campaign job ended at the beginning of this month, I’ve resumed looking for a full-time job. Although it hasn’t even been a month of this hustle, I’ve fallen into some negative thought-patterns again.  It’s actually affected my health this time.

    My thought-patterns were challenged the other day though when I was confronted with a small, yet powerful omen and reminder of the effectiveness of manifestation. I noticed the omen when I was partaking in the mundane task of waiting in line at TJ Maxx to return a bracelet. Before I divulge, let us rewind a bit…

    A few weeks prior I went to TJ Maxx to find gifts for the holidays and for my mom’s birthday. As I meandered through the aisles to survey the goods, I came across some cool planners.

    love planners. Well, not just any type of planner. I am loyal to my pocket-sized, leather-bound agenda with gold trim pages and a ribbon bookmark from Barnes and Noble. I carry this agenda with me at all times in case I need to write down an appointment or remember to do something.

    Since 2019 is quickly approaching and since I hadn’t yet repurchased the agenda I am so fond of, I scoped out the planners that TJ Maxx carried. I considered getting one of the planners that had cool graphics and stickers (my typical agenda isn’t as cute and affirmative), but I ultimately decided not to purchase one for several reasons. First of all, the planners TJ Maxx carried were all spiral-bound, which I loathe, plus it was larger and heavier than I prefer. I thought to myself that if it was $5 cheaper, I would buy it regardless just so I could have a planner for 2019. Now, let’s fast-forward to the other day…

    When I was in line to return a bracelet at TJ Maxx, I was thinking about the frustrating conversation that I had had with my girlfriend about the woes of job-hunting. I was feeling rather negative, especially because I had to wait in a long line to return one small item, but I decided to take advantage of my time by examining all the products that they have in the checkout line.

    Right before I was the next one at the register, I noticed a lone 2019 agenda that was stamped with “Nevertheless, She Persisted.” I actually have a t-shirt with that statement on it, but in that moment, it was exactly the reminder I needed. It was my good omen. Although job-hunting sucks and my efforts feel futile, I must persist. Eventually I’ll find what I need.

    I picked up the agenda curiously, dubious that I would actually like it since I’m so particular and loyal to the brand only available at Barnes and Noble. Well, shockingly, this specific agenda was identical to the interior of the agenda style that I am loyal too. The size of the agenda was a little bit bigger than the pocket-sized journal, but it wasn’t heavier and I could still carry it in any purse. This stray agenda was also not spiral-bound and it had a ribbon bookmark, just like my old one. As if it couldn’t get better, it was also $5 cheaper than the agenda that I had looked at a few weeks back, making it only $5.

    It all seemed too good to be true. I was at TJ Maxx, after all, so this agenda had to have a flaw. I inspected the agenda for damage, and it was in mint condition, ironically akin to the color of it. So, I bought it.

    You can regard this whole little experience in the line at TJ Maxx as just an odd coincidence or a small dose of good fortune, but I perceive it to be a small sign from the Universe that the Universe hasn’t forgotten about me. In fact, the Universe is unfolding as it should, and all I have to do is continue to persist. It’s not about worrying whether I’m persisting in the “right” direction…whatever I do is what I’m meant to do in the moment. Just keep going. Keep persisting.

    In addition to it being a good omen, I also believe I manifested this agenda. I’ve been putting it out into the Universe for a few months that I needed a new agenda. I had actually written in my old agenda, repeatedly since September, to get a new agenda for 2019. Despite my need, I kept postponing going to Barnes and Noble to the point where I doubted I was going to get an agenda in time for 2019. I had even requested my girlfriend get it for me. She didn’t get it for me though because she wasn’t supposed to, and I kept postponing going to Barnes and Noble because I wasn’t supposed to go. I was destined to find this agenda at TJ Maxx. It wasn’t the one that I wanted; it was actually better.

    If I can manifest a $5 agenda that contains a ton of significance, I can manifest the job that I need and want too. From what I’ve learned from The Alchemist so far, as well as from all the podcasts I listen to, manifesting is as simple as asking for it, being open to receiving it, and paying attention. I was very open that day, despite my frustration. In fact, I had been talking to my cousin in the car that same day about “signs” and about how not all negative setbacks indicate that you shouldn’t be pursuing your destiny. Sometimes they’re just roadblocks that you need to overcome.

    So…if you needed a sign that you are on the “right” track, or if you needed a reminder that your efforts are worthwhile, or if you needed to remember that all the power you need is within you, this is it. This is your good omen.

    Nevertheless, We Persisted.

    xx Vic

  • Red leaves on a large tree
    Short Stories

    To the Ones I Used to Know

    Most of you are alive, but to me, you only continue to exist on the page. Specifically, the pages of my blog.

    The structured black words on my blog have memorialized most of you, so if you ever forget about those times we stayed up too late, got in trouble, kissed, or argued, you can probably find those memories here. They did happen, I promise. I was there and I wrote about them.

    I’m not saying this because I’m trying to prove something to you. I don’t need to prove anything. Believe me or not, the evidence that we associated at all is here. It’s just a little unsettling sometimes.

    My writings are all I need to be flung back into the past when we sat next to each other at dinner, slept next to each other in bed, or were even in the same room together. Every time I read my old writings, it’s like watching a movie I hadn’t seen in years. I know how it ends, but I forgot the journey to the ending.

    But then again, that is why I maintain a blog: I write about the journey so I don’t forget.

    Most of you that I’ve journeyed with are gone from my life, yet your impact is undeniably relevant even to this day. Your impact lives in my words on the page.

    Thank you for sharing some of your time with me.

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Twenty-Three

    I can’t believe my birthday is tomorrow because October seems to have come and gone so quickly. I did my best to enjoy October, although I didn’t get to watch all the Halloween movies I wanted to because my work schedule is so hectic. I also wasn’t able to go apple picking or carve a pumpkin, but I’ll try to do those things next year!

    Anyway…aside from a family birthday dinner, I don’t have anything special planned this year. I’d like to go to the city this weekend but we’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, I thought it’d be fun to revisit my birthday posts on my blog since I’ve written birthday posts since 2013! Time really does fly…

    Eighteen

    Nineteen

    Twenty

    Twenty-one

    Twenty-two

    I hope y’all had a wonderful Halloween and I hope November is going well so far for you! Today is my last day of work and I’m working like 12 hours, so my birthday tomorrow will be extra sweet since it’ll be a well-deserved break. After today I should have more time to write so there will be more blog posts coming soon!

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Who Am I?

    My sister and my girlfriend are going back to school this week, and for the first time in about seventeen years, I am not doing the same.

    Since I am no longer a formal student at an American institution, I’ve been reflecting a lot on who I am.

    Who am I without school?

    I’m still determining how to answer this question, but I started by creating a more detailed “about me” page. It was fun to do and while it’s not comprehensive by any means, I think it was a good place to start.

    Additionally, in the last week or so, I’ve been doing some things that I’ve put off because I was busy in school. For example, I’ve finished two books recently. I’m working on finishing two more before reading or buying a new one.

    The biggest way I’ve attempted to answer my question is by deciding not to rush grad school. It was a little scary to come to this decision because I find school comforting in the sense that I know what goal I have to achieve: to graduate. The means are provided as well such as you have to take classes and study. Without school, my goal is more focused on becoming self-sufficient… I need a job to do that but the types of jobs I can have are innumerable! To me, this goal is quite a bit more overwhelming.

    I want to tackle this goal, thus, I won’t be applying for grad school until next fall at the earliest.

    Delaying grad school would also allow my work experiences and whatever else I experience to influence which grad program I will eventually pursue. I still plan to take the GREs this year but instead of taking them in November, I will take them in December or January.

    In regards to jobs…I’ve had a ton of first interviews but it’s been slow to hear back about second interviews. I’m going to follow up with some places this week to see where I am at as a prospective employee. I will also begin to apply for part-time jobs so I don’t deplete my savings waiting for a full-time job.

    Some part-time job opportunities include teaching yoga. I’ve been postponing looking for yoga jobs in person lately but I’ll have to resume it. I just created a class about creativity because it’s something I’ve been struggling with lately, and I’m super excited to teach it! I have to fine-tune some things still, but it feels good on my body and I think it’d feel good to others too.

    I’ve been struggling with my creativity because I haven’t been using it to its full-extent these days. This is definitely partially attributed to school, which is one reason not being a student will be good for me because unless you allot time for creativity, school really hinders it. I was fortunate to have time to take two creative writing courses last year, but it has been difficult to maintain the drive to be creative because I was thrust from the cocoon of being a student to suddenly being a graduate who needs a job and wants to go to grad school and needs to study and…I was putting way too much on my plate.

    Once I decided to postpone grad school another year, I allowed myself the time to breathe and to allow my creative mind to flow. In fact, I’ve been dreaming a lot at night these days, which I think is a good sign. One thing I need to work on though is disconnecting from the internet before and after bed, because that definitely stifles creativity. Instead I want to reintegrate meditation for at least 10 minutes everyday. My goal is to then create something every three days.

    There are some other things I want to talk about and share, but perhaps that’ll be for a different time.

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Doing My Dharma (Rat-Race Chronicles)

    I’m taking the train instead of driving today, which is pretty nice because I can relax and write a little bit about what’s been on my mind lately.

    The yoga training program has been exhausting me, thus I missed writing this week. I also have been really missing my girlfriend. We have conflicting schedules at the moment so we only get to see each other for about three hours once or twice a week. I realize this is more contact than some relationships get but regardless, it’s still difficult.

    In addition to these emotional and physical stressors, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do after this training more because the graduation date is near. I’ve also been thinking about what I need to do to support myself. I want to apply to part-time positions and to teach yoga on the side while I apply to graduate schools.

    I’ve really been procrastinating the graduate program part, not because I don’t want to go to grad school but because I wish I didn’t want to go to grad school. I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work, regardless of the field I pursue. It’s also going to take a lot of work to get into a program. My girlfriend believes I’m afraid, which I definitely am…so this is where the “capital-Y, Yoga,” as my instructor calls it, comes in. I need to start taking the lessons I’ve been learning through Yoga philosophy and my asana practice into my everyday life, particularly into my dharma.

    Dharma is a Sanskrit word that means something along the lines of purpose or duty. Right now, my short-term dharma is to do the work to figure out what my next move is. Additionally, from my perspective right now, I believe my over-arching dharma is to teach.

    Next week I only have two days of yoga training so I will have an ample amount of time to study for my exam as well as to apply for job opportunities and take my higher education more seriously. Next Sunday is my deadline for graduate program research. I want to find three programs I am interested in.

    Is there anything you’ve been procrastinating that you want to work on too? Let me know in the comments below!

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Nightdwelling: Job-Hunting

    It’s been quite awhile since I lied in bed, unable to quiet my mind, and just write. I find it unusual that I’m not alone in my bed as I’m writing, unlike years past. Tonight my girlfriend is sleeping beside me, blissfully unaware of my mental torment.

    I’m not feeling quite as angsty as Victoria at 16 when she stayed up until 3am just writing, but I’m angstier than usual. Perhaps it’s due to the new moon or the hormonal week I had last week, or perhaps it’s because of my deceased cousin’s birthday, which just passed. I’m also not feeling great due to the sudden onslaught of allergies that now keeps me up at night because I can’t breathe too well.

    (Super cute side-note, I coughed, which surprisingly woke up my girlfriend, who then sat up right, asked me if I was okay, kissed my cheek and then rested her head on my chest and fell back asleep. So…she may not be as blissfully unaware as I had assumed).

    Anyway…I just want to check in and chat. Release some of my angsty feelings!

    I’ve been quite concerned about money lately. I’ve been spending more of it than I care to admit, while not making nearly enough to support my lavish lifestyle. Right now, I’m at least working a little bit, but in two weeks or so, I will not have a job anymore. Obviously, a solution to my anxiety is to get a job so I can make money and actually live within my means, but the truth of the matter is that I’ve been…avoiding looking for a job.

    I’ve been doing the work to develop a good mindset and to understand the “game” that is job hunting. My aunt got me a book called What Color is Your Parachute?, which is a great book for job hunters. It’s been more insightful than all of my career preparation, which is pretty extensive, although still insufficient. I’ve also revamped my resume and I’ve been working on my confidence and my mental well-being. Now, I just have to apply all the work I’ve been doing by taking action and actually job-hunt.

    One of my old study buddies emphasized my need to take action. We met up last week to catch up for the first time all semester. We used to struggle together for our classes, but she didn’t seem to be struggling anymore because she had it all figured out since she got a job recently. I felt pretty lame in comparison with my elusive plans and my carefree attitude, to which she responded that I should look for a job because it won’t fall into my lap.

    I’m not going to delve into the frustration, self-pity, and self-doubt I experienced due to this interaction, but she did have a point. I need to start looking for a job. That in itself is like a full-time job though, which I find to be unpleasant, although necessary.

    I want to get a job so I can be independent, have somewhere to be every day, and to gain some work experience that may inspire my decision about doctorate programs. I have to remember this when I resume looking rather than focusing on my fears and hesitations about the job hunt. I have goals, thus I need to take action.

    Do y’all ever struggle with the job-hunt? What do you do to motivate yourself?

    xx Vic

    I wrote this back when I was still in school, and the job-struggle is stronger now that I’ve graduated. My parents and girlfriend have been helping me as much as they can, which has been wonderful. Hopefully I get some interviews soon.

  • Speaking My Mind

    Post-Graduation Blues (Fake Happy)

    It’s ironic how happy I look in this photo considering that graduation has not been an entirely happy time. Granted, I took this photo a day or two before the graduation ceremonies and the drama occurred.

    During the first of the three commencements I attended, I was just trying not to cry the entire time. The second two ceremonies were less emotionally intense, despite the pouring rain, but afterward, my sister went to the ER during dinner due to a potential concussion (which thankfully, she didn’t have). This caused my mom to stress out excessively. Then I moved home, which was exhausting although my grandparents helped out tremendously. The next day, I went to a family dinner with my parents and my sister, which ended in tears on my part and my mom stormed out of the restaurant. She ignored me and my sister until the following evening. Lastly, my girlfriend got an internship, which is incredibly exciting but I’ve cried a ton because of it. The last part of these dramatic days is what I really want to talk about now because the other stuff has been resolved.

    I am afraid of being alone this summer, which seems like it’s going to happen anyway. This has caused me to spiral into sadness when the people around me are successful. Pretty much all my friends have jobs and/or are moving out of state/out of the country. No one is going to be local to me except for my sister, but even she has a job. I mean, yeah, I have a part-time job until mid-August that allows me to work remotely, which would allow me the time and flexibility to

    1. Research PhD programs
    2. Apply for jobs
    3. Study for the GREs
    4. Organize my life both physically (my room is a mess) and mentally (I’m a mess)
    5. Do my month-long, intensive yoga teacher training

    So yeah…I need to be alone to do most of these, if not all, of these activities. Therefore, I will have plenty of time to accomplish these goals because I have a part-time job during these critical summer months. On the other hand, though, I wanted to do fun activities and trips and because not even my girlfriend will be local to me now…I feel like I can’t do them unless I want to go on my own.

    My girlfriend said she is going to see me weekly, and I believe her but when she’s not seeing me, she’s going to be working and having fun where she’s at. Everyone is going to be having fun where they’re at. Meanwhile, I feel worried that I’m just going to be at my parents’ home, alone studying or something…which isn’t bad…I have different goals than her and everyone else for this summer but…I don’t know what my problem is. I’m jealous of everyone else, I’m comparing everyone else to myself, and so I feel bad about myself for no reason.

    She said I need to change my perspective, which I agree. I definitely need to do that.

    Maybe the interests and goals I have for my life will cause me to feel a little isolated from everyone, even if my friends and girlfriend were around. If I am going to be doing a PhD program, these feelings will probably continue because I’ll be spending a lot of time studying and working on the weekends, whereas my friends who get jobs with their Bachelor’s may be able to go to brunch on Sundays and mingle more.

    Regardless, this gap year or two or three that I am taking sucks. I feel stagnant and alone in that. I want to find a job but I haven’t been looking even though my girlfriend and mom send me job listings once in a while…I want to figure out a PhD program I’m interested in but I haven’t been looking at that either, although I’ve talked to my thesis advisors about it. My girlfriend said I’m avoiding things and so…yeah, I am. I’m unsure why though.

    I know in the past, avoidance is a method I practice when I’m either depressed or anxious. Perhaps I’m feeling a little bit of both right now. Possibly due to my graduation blues.

    Do people talk about how awful graduation is? Aside from the overwhelming emotions that arise during the ceremonies, afterward is so much worse. Suddenly, you go from having tons of friends within walking-distance to having no friends nearby. All your friends become busy with their adult lives and you’re stuck living at home with your parents, who ask you daily about getting a job (if you don’t already have one, like me). The possibility of getting a job, being able to move out, and make friends/have friends feels impossible. Not only does that feel impossible, but so does working toward a doctorate because there are 100,000 steps I have to take before even applying for a program.

    Maybe I’m a little depressed and anxious and I didn’t realize the depth of it until now. Regardless, it’s manageable and I’ll overcome it. Right now, I’m unsure how and I’m unsure when this will happen. I may end up having to take two years off, which is okay although undesirable. But worrying about how long things will take is not what I need to be doing right now. So first thing’s first…

    1. Focus on myself!!! I have a part time job for a couple of more months and I’ll be busy doing the YTT. In the evenings, I’ll need to study for it in addition to doing the work required for the other goals I have listed below.
    2. My path is not anyone’s path. I will find a job if I actually look for one and apply. I will figure out what doctorate program to do if I actually look at them. I will be prepared for the GREs if I actually open the book and study for them.
    3. I will do fun things this summer with my girlfriend and my sister. Maybe I can challenge myself a bit too by doing fun things by myself. I can’t rely on anyone but myself. I must be there for myself and not allow people’s inability to hang out with me deter me from having a good time.
    4. Be at peace with myself.

    I may need to repeat these things like a mantra until I relax. I was able to do this two summers ago. During that summer, I was lonesome but at peace with it. I didn’t write much during that time so I don’t remember what I was doing exactly…I was taking a summer class and working part-time but that was it. I probably read a lot and watched TV. I don’t know how I achieved that state of mind but I will figure out how to get back there.

    Anyway, tomorrow I’m leaving for Disney so I’ll try my best to enjoy myself and maybe I’ll plan a little bit about how I’m going to manage my days when I return so that I am busy daily. I’ll let y’all know how that goes.

    xx Vic

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